Jason Blake

After three months, Anaheim’s Blake returns from severe wrist cut

Helene Elliott of the LA Times reports that tonight — for the first time since Oct. 14 — Jason Blake will suit up for the Anaheim Ducks.

Blake suffered a catastrophic wrist injury against San Jose in Anaheim’s third game of the season. His forearm was slashed by the skate of Sharks defenseman Brent Burns, causing severe tendon damage that required surgery. Blake actually left the ice on a specialized stretcher that kept his arm upright (here’s rough video footage of the incident.)

“It’s been a tough, long road that I had to go down,” the 38-year-old Blake said. “It’s been an uphill climb and I feel like I finally got to the top of the hill.”

This isn’t the first time Blake has faced adversity. In 2007 he announced he’d been diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia — a rare, but highly treatable form of cancer. Blake went on to play all 82 games for Toronto that season and capture the Bill Masterton Trophy.

As for where Blake will play tonight? He’s been practicing on an “old-guy” line with Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu, though it’s hard to imagine Blake playing a full slate of shifts/big minutes after missing so much time.

“Initially, he’s missed 38 games so we don’t really know what we’re going to see,” coach Bruce Boudreau told the OC Register. “I know he’ll have a lot of energy but we’ll see how long the energy lasts. It’s tough to come back, it’s almost like a training camp revisited for him type of thing.”

Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’

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Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.